H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Dec 31, 2012 9:32 PM by Nikki Ibarra

New laws for California drivers take effect Jan. 1

A new year, and a new set of laws for California drivers.

Starting January 1, more than a dozen driving-related laws take effect, including one that allows drivers to use to text under some circumstances.

"We want people to be allowed to use them but just in a safe manner so I think these laws have been developed to, to allow people to do that but to also increase the public safety," said Sergeant Danny Koetsier.

Under the new law, drivers will be allowed to text only if they do it using a hands-free device. "There's new technology out where they have voice to text commands that you can give where you do not have to use your hands. Those are going to be allowed and, and perfectly legal," said Sergeant Koetsier.

Police will also enforce another law which will no longer allow a person suspected of driving under the influence of drugs the choice of providing a urine or blood sample.

Starting Jan. 1, blood will be the only screening tool to detect drugs.

"DUI is still something that we're strictly enforcing and it is a problem. We are combating it as best as we can and you know, overall I think we're seeing the numbers going down but we still don't want anyone to be hurt or killed as a result of a DUI driver so we're going to continue to aggressively enforce those laws," added Sergeant Koetsier.

For a full list of new driving laws, visit KSBY.com and click "links".

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